Author Topic: Bicycle Helmet!  (Read 7904 times)

Guardian

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Bicycle Helmet!
« on: October 08, 2012, 10:56:41 AM »
Hi all,

I'm in the market for a new bicycle helmet - I've been biking 50miles a week to work and recently tossed an old gift of a helmet that was falling apart.

I could use some advice on brands like Scott/Giant/Gero, etc. Don't really know what to look for, and where I can save money without sacrificing quality!

I want a white or very bright color helmet as I want to be seen as well as protected.

Also, how do you deal with helmet hair?

Russ

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 11:15:08 AM »
As long as the helmet is certified by ANSI, Snell, etc., they're all the same. Inexpensive is fine. The only difference with more expensive helmets is thet they're lighter and maybe have a few more air vents. I'd stay away from skate-style helmets, which are mostly ventless and therefore hot. I'd also recommend buying from your local bike shop instead of from a big-box store or an online retailer. The bike shop will make sure your new helmet fits right and show you how to wear it, which is important. They also won't sell you anything unsafe, which I wouldn't say about big-box bike departments.

The most important thing is to make sure the helmet is comfortable, or else you might not want to wear it. Don't be afraid to go through every model the shop has to find the right one.

re: helmet hair. I stopped caring a long time ago. Maybe bring a comb with you?

Edit: sp.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 01:59:59 PM by Russ »

galaxie

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 11:42:15 AM »
I have a helmet that has a flashing red LED on the back, which is cool. 

jawisco

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 11:55:55 AM »
I recently ditched an old helmet and bought this one - http://www.amazon.com/Uvex-Xenova-Mountain-Bicycle-Helmet/dp/B004FKAMSQ.  I got it on discount from real cyclist for $25 and I love it.

All the rated helmets may have the same protection, but comfort and ease-of-use is a different thing...

I was very impressed with the newer tightening mechanism in the back of this helmet (easy to adjust to different situations where I wear a winter hat, sun hat, etc under the helmet) and the amazing lightness and cooling of the vents.  Go to a bike shop and try on a few helmets and you will notice a difference in comfort and usability right away.  Then either buy from the bike shop or look around for same helmet on clearance online..

Russ

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 12:23:00 PM »
...or look around for same helmet on clearance online..

The bike shop isn't a library dude. Don't go in there, use their knowledgeable staff, demo programs, and access to products and information just to go and buy things from online retailers. You're taking advantage of an industry that doesn't have great profit margins to start with, and is generally run by people who are in it for the love not the money. They know what you're doing too, so if you ever go back don't expect any more than spit-in-your-hamburger service. You're that guy who steals the staff's valuable time when they could be helping customers who actually want to buy things.

sheepstache

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 02:33:11 PM »
Bell has good products and not a lot of flashy advertising or design so prices are usually quite good.  I've seen their helmets at ACE hardware if you don't have a bike store around.

For visibility you might look into a separate headlamp and then a red flashing light you could clip to the headlamp band in back.  Then when either the lights or the helmet poop out you don't have to get rid of the other one.

Congrats on having gotten this far with bike commuting!

Prof Penny Pincher

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 02:50:56 PM »
Just to toss it out there...

there is a lot of conflicting information regarding if helmets are even of any help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bike_helmet#Cycling_risk_and_head_injury

in particular this was an interesting line " UK figures show that it takes at least 8000 years of average cycling to produce one clinically severe head injury and 22,000 years for one death."

twinge

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 03:28:17 PM »
Quote
Just to toss it out there...

there is a lot of conflicting information regarding if helmets are even of any help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bike_helmet#Cycling_risk_and_head_injury

in particular this was an interesting line " UK figures show that it takes at least 8000 years of average cycling to produce one clinically severe head injury and 22,000 years for one death."


Well, when there's conflicting evidence (as is often the case with any kind of statistical studies) meta-analyses offer the best guide to the findings as they systematically compare effect sizes among high quality extant studies.  And it looks like from this--though I haven't read the actual meta-analyses, even though there is disagreement about the extent of the benefit, there's pretty sizeable advantages for preventing head injuries, though less evidence that there's a benefit for neck injuries. 

sol

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 10:07:36 PM »
Most major cities these days have discounted helmet programs.  Ask around at your local fire department or city hall website. 

Check these out to start:
http://wearyourhelmet.org/organizations/...all
http://www.helmetsrus.net/nonprofit/
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 09:08:37 AM by sol »

sheepstache

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 08:01:59 AM »
And if you're really worried about helmet hair there's always this!

http://www.hovding.com/en/how

Daley

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 08:45:22 AM »
And if you're really worried about helmet hair there's always this!

http://www.hovding.com/en/how

$600 for a fashion accessory airbag helmet!? Jeezum crow! Thanks, but no thanks.

Bakari

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 11:49:17 AM »
Just so yall know:

A drop from even a few feet on to a hard surface can permanently reduce a helmets impact absorbing ability.
Be careful with it.
Even if they are never dropped, they can degrade from ozone (from car smog) and UV light (from the sun). 
Both kinds of damage are invisible to the eye.  Replace them every few years, even if you were never in an accident.

The strap should be tight under your throat.  It seems nearly half of all cyclists keep it too loose.  It should be very mildly uncomfortable to eat with it on.  If you can push the helmet off your head in any direction with it strapped, it can fall off the same way in a crash, making it useless.
The little plastic triangle sliders should be right up under your ears.

You can get led lights to attach to any helmet, which is generally a good idea.

jpo

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 12:28:13 PM »
...or look around for same helmet on clearance online..

The bike shop isn't a library dude. Don't go in there, use their knowledgeable staff, demo programs, and access to products and information just to go and buy things from online retailers. You're taking advantage of an industry that doesn't have great profit margins to start with, and is generally run by people who are in it for the love not the money. They know what you're doing too, so if you ever go back don't expect any more than spit-in-your-hamburger service. You're that guy who steals the staff's valuable time when they could be helping customers who actually want to buy things.
Sorry, but when the local bike shop's prices range from $45-$200+ for a $20 piece of equipment (helmet), you'd better believe I'm shopping around.

Do you say the same thing about people who window shop at Best Buy and then order online from Amazon?

Bakari

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 12:38:28 PM »
They don't change $200 for a $20 helmet.
$45 for a $20 helmet maybe.
But they aren't price gouging.
They run at very thin margins.

Its really a question of priorities, of voting with your dollars, like anytime you shop local.
Do you get something hand-made in the US from a local merchant, or do you get something made in China sold by WalMart?  Its not the exact same situation, but its the same general principal.

jpo

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 12:54:23 PM »
They don't change $200 for a $20 helmet.
$45 for a $20 helmet maybe.
But they aren't price gouging.
They run at very thin margins.
True... what I'm saying is that they don't carry a $20 helmet, so a different business gets the sale. As much as I would like to support the LBS, paying double (or ten times) for the same head protection is not happening.

There are situations I would pay a reasonable amount more for the LBS - if I was buying a bike, for example.

Russ

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 12:56:51 PM »
Do you say the same thing about people who window shop at Best Buy and then order online from Amazon?

Yes, I do. The markups you see at brick-and-mortar stores pay for the service you are using by going into the shop and trying out their products, talking to the staff, etc. Online stores don't provide that service, hence their lower prices. To use any shop's service and knowledge without paying, with the intent of using that information to buy a product cheaper online (i.e., not pay for the service you used) is, in my opinion, morally wrong. Of course you're entitled to defend your opinion if you'd like.

My recommendation, if you want to use a store's resources and then buy online for less money, is to at least bring the guys a 6-pack or put a couple bucks in the tip jar. You get your clearance helmet, and the staff at least feels somewhat appreciated for spending their time helping you. It won't pay the rent, but it's better than nothing.

igthebold

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 01:03:37 PM »
For what it's worth, I'll follow up with the idea that if you value the presence of a local brick-and-mortar, you might want to make a habit of purchasing goods from that brick-and-mortar. Otherwise, the brick-and-mortar categorically goes away.

Choosing online over a local business verges on false frugality, in my opinion. In the grand scheme of things, the local business is a resource, a benefit, and is probably run in a humane way, whereas Amazon is not local and not run in a humane way, if reports are to be believed. Of course, there are conflicting reports.

Don't forget that the actual frugality comes in not buying in the first place. Once you've made the decision to buy (which is fine), you're often in penny-wise territory. I say spend the extra at the local store out of respect for those folks' help.

jpo

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 01:40:31 PM »
Obviously different people will draw different lines in the sand about how intangible benefits balance against price.

For me, which business receives my sale is a balance of a number of things. Among them are price, selection, urgency, and the type of business.

I don't think it's morally wrong to look at things in Best Buy and purchase on Amazon. Almost every time I've been in Best Buy I haven't learned anything particular about the product from the sales staff, so that "benefit" is negligible. If I don't need it urgently, and Amazon has a better price and free shipping, Best Buy loses out. Ever price compare an HDMI cable on Best Buy vs Amazon?

If I'm looking to buy some groceries for tonight, and I go to Kroger, I'm not going to price shop on Amazon because I need it now. Local business wins that one.

If I'm looking to buy a bike, and the guys at the locally-owned small business bike shop size me, set up the bike, have a good selection, and reasonably recommend what type of bike I'd be best off with, they will probably get my business, even if Amazon or Nashbar has a better price (within reason). There's a substantial benefit from their service other than just being able to view the product, so local business wins that one too.

However, if I'm looking to buy a bike and the local shop guys don't bother to lift a finger, or they have a limited selection that doesn't include what I want, there's no benefit from going with them over the less expensive online retailer.

Bottom line, it depends on the circumstances and individual. I'm not about to tell you where to buy your eggs and milk... so please don't tell me where to buy my bike helmet.

igthebold

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2012, 02:11:13 PM »
Bottom line, it depends on the circumstances and individual. I'm not about to tell you where to buy your eggs and milk... so please don't tell me where to buy my bike helmet.

Or even suggest, argue for, or recommend, which is what everybody's been doing? It's ultimately your decision, obviously.

Incidentally, I agree with you. It's not as simple as "buy local." Doesn't change my argument at all, though. :)

Russ

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Re: Bicycle Helmet!
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2012, 02:48:28 PM »
Bottom line, it depends on the circumstances and individual. I'm not about to tell you where to buy your eggs and milk... so please don't tell me where to buy my bike helmet.

I'm not trying to tell you where to buy things. I am saying that one should consider the benefits received when shopping locally, determine the worth of those benefits, and compensate the provider of the benefits accordingly. If you get no service at Best Buy, by all means buy on Amazon. If you don't get any benefit from the bike shop don't buy from there either, they don't deserve your business. I personally would go find a different shop, but if you want to buy online that's your choice and I can't tell you what to do. But if someone came into my shop and tried on 5 different helmets with the intent of ordering their favorite online (which I'm not saying you did, just an example of the point I'm trying to make), the customer would (in my mind, not legally of course) owe me the cost of that service. Whether they compensate me for the service determines what I think of them as a customer, and how I treat them the next time they're in the shop. It doesn't have to be much - a couple bucks tip or maybe some cookies - but consider how that service may have saved a few returns of an online purchase, or helped you stay away from a helmet that was incredibly uncomfortable, and think of what that convenience is worth to you. That's all I'm saying - the service provided by any local store may save you some hassle, and if they do I think it's only fair to compensate them for that service.